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Three Move Checkmate - Learning Good Chess Strategies

Updated on January 16, 2013

Three Move Checkmate and how Chess Tricks Can Teach Good Chess Strategies

This lens introduces basic chess strategies. It is one of several ongoing lenses that I will be developing on good chess strategies. The three move checkmate (It can also be done in two, if black mates) is also known as the fool's mate. I have seen variants of it many times as I have taught chess to beginners.

I include this lens on the three move mate because it shows how much fun chess is, and it illustrates some good beginning chess strategies.

Hope you enjoy it and will read my coming lenses!

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Three Move Checkmate and how Chess Tricks Can Teach Good Chess Strategies

3 move win chess

The Fool's Mate - the three move checkmate (or the two move checkmate if mate is by black)

The three move checkmate is seen many different variations. Below is a picture of what a fool's mate might looks like:

This quick checkmate is the quickest possible way to mate. In two moves it is only achievable by Black against White.

There are eight possibilities of pawn advances and then the move by Black's Queen to checkmate.

There is an obvious reason why often Fool's Mate is so described. White or black has to help for the mate to occur.

The eight possibilities of the two move checkmate are as follows:

1.f4 e5 2.g4 Qh4#
1.f4 e6 2.g4 Qh4#
1.f3 e6 2.g4 Qh4#
1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#
1.g4 e6 2.f4 Qh4#
1.g4 e6 2.f3 Qh4#
1.g4 e5 2.f3 Qh4#
1.g4 e5 2.f4 Qh4#

Three Move Mate

Most often mate occurs in three moves and the following illustrative game gives some good chess strategies the beginner might find useful!

  • Principle one: Good chess strategy one: Ne careful in opening lines to your king. This is the only way a fool's mate can occur!
1. e4

White moves the pawn in front of his king forward two squares.

  • Principle two: In the beginning it is advisable to plant a pawn in the center. This help you control your portion of space in the middle and opens lanes for your pieces to move.
1. e4 f3

  • Principle three: Bad move (f3) - In the opening it is a bad policy to move pawns which do not help you control the center or free your pieces. This move also weakens the square in front of black's king (f2).
2. d4

  • Principle four: This is a good move. Both pawns (e4 & d4) control the middle of the board whicch is very important. White is free to move his bishops, knights and queens.

2. d4 g5?

  • Principle five: This horrible move (g5?) by black completely opens the e8 to h5 diagonal, exposing black's king. When pawns move they often leave "holes" or weak squares behind them. Be cautions. In the opening, play for the center and get your pieces out to good squares where they are protected.

3. Qg5 checkmate!

So you have checkmate. The king cannot move, there is no piece that can be put between the king and your queen, and, despite your queen being completely unprotected, no piece can attack her either. One interesting feature is that the first move you want your opponent was not forced into this mate. Most mistakes by beginners are unfoced errors.

  • Principle six: Get out there and have fun. You will make mistakes Expect it. But learn from them and you will be the winner!

YouTube vids on The Three Move Checkmate

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit Chess)
How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit Chess)

This is not just a book for kids - for 'Dad' read any opponent who beats you regularly! This book teaches the 50 Deadly Checkmates - basic attacking patterns that occur repeatedly in games between players of all standards. Each mating motif is carefully and simply explained, and several illustrative examples are given. A final test enables the reader to grade his pattern recognition abilities, and the last chapter explains what to do if your Dad is Garry Kasparov. Fun, instructive - and guaranteed to improve your game.

The Art of the Checkmate
The Art of the Checkmate

Thorough classification of 23 mating situations, including Legal's pseudo-sacrifice, the double check, smothered mate, Greco's mate, the Corridor mate, and many others. Learn from 127 games by Tartakower, Janowski, Rubinstein, Blackburne, others, illustrating positional maneuvers leading to these mates. Review quizzes test progress.

Checkmate!: My First Chess Book (Everyman Chess)
Checkmate!: My First Chess Book (Everyman Chess)

In Checkmate! readers are invited to learn chess with Garry Kasparov, the World number one and the most famous figure in chess history, as their teacher. In this book chess players can discover all the various pieces and how they move, how to attack and how to defend, how to capture, and, crucially, how to give check and deliver checkmate.

Simple Checkmates: More Than 400 Exercises for Novices of All Ages!
Simple Checkmates: More Than 400 Exercises for Novices of All Ages!

Here is the classic guide to winning chess for beginners. Recommended by chess coaches the world over, it presents a wide range of specific chess positions and asks the reader to find the next move or series of moves that lead to checkmate -- with two diagrams per page and the answers spelled out underneath.The beauty of Simple Checkmates is that it turns learning into a game. It's fun, it's fascinating, it's fundamental -- an invaluable tool for anyone who wants not only to play chess, but to win at chess. With more than 430 diagrams in all, this book is certain to take you -- or your children -- to a whole new level op play.



learn chess tactics taught in plain English; the most complete body of instruction on the subject yet written.
Chess Tactics - Chess Tempo

Chess is 99% Tactics. Train your tactical ability by solving over 30000 tacticsproblems. Register for free and track your progress via a personal tactics rating.
Chess Tactics

Interactive site, contains over 11000 chess problems, puzzles and members rated by Glicko rating system.
Chess Tactics Server

Interactive site, contains over 20000 chess problems, puzzles and members rated by Glicko rating system.
Chess tactic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In chess, a tactic refers to a sequence of moves which limits the opponent's options and may result in tangible gain. Tactics are usually contrasted with strategy, ...
Tactics Trainer -

Chess Tactics Trainer. "Chess is 99% tactics!" - Richard Teichmann. Getting better at tactics is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your game.
Chess tactics training - Improve your chess

The most innovative free chess tactics training site with over 70.000 interactive checkmate and tactics puzzles. Join this rapid growing community to improve ...
Basic Chess Tactics - About Chess

A guide to basic chess tactics, including forks, pins and skewers.
Chess/Tactics - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Basic and advanced chess tactics and strategies : endgames, sacrifices, openings and opening principles, gambit, checkmate patterns,

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    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @leesholden: Thanks for visit and comments. Have a great day!

    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @leesholden: Thanks for visit and comments. Have a great day!

    • leesholden profile image


      5 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      Nice lens, looking forward to trying these moves out!

    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @attraction 42: I thin chess is a great way to teach many life lessons. Thanks for the visit.

    • attraction 42 profile image

      attraction 42 

      6 years ago

      My five year old daughter already plays chess better than I do. I need you advice. Thank you. ;)

    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @Melissa Miotke: Good luck and thanks for coming by!

    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @clerk1993: Thanks for the visit. Happy chess.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I'm new to chess and these are great tips. Thank you!

    • Wbisbill LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      @choice12: Thanks for coming by!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Although I have been playing chess for some years, you have some great articles here, makes for easy reading. Thanks

    • jmchaconne profile image


      6 years ago

      My dad taught me to play chess when I was a child. It was one of the best things he ever did for me! Thanks for a great lens, and thank you for visiting my lens.

    • top-notch-shop profile image


      6 years ago

      good lens but only a novice would be caught out by the three move mate

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens. Certainly, short games are little fun.

    • mowug1776 profile image


      6 years ago

      good tips, I learned that one the hard way. I've been playing chess avidly for three years now. The hardest thing for me to do seems to keep the king safe yet not stifle it. Good lens, I like it a lot.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good tips, thanks! I had a friend that I played chess with for a long time, but then I moved away. I'm sort of intermediate, so now no one wants to play with me anymore :( I guess I will have to move it online!


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